History of the Biomedical Acoustics Technical Committee

This Technical Committee (TC) began life in 1984 as the Bioresponse to Vibration Technical Committee. Prior to this date, Physical Acoustics typically acted as the home for Bioresponse/Biomedical Ultrasound activities at ASA meetings. The early scope of the Technical Committee addressed the effects of vibration on the body, touch as communication sense, and the effects of infrasound and ultrasound. As member interest evolved, ultrasound applications became more visible within the TC and, in 1996, the name was modified to Bioresponse to Vibration/Biomedical Ultrasound. Ultrasound then rapidly overtook bioresponse as the primary interest and shortly after, in 1998, the name components were swapped to Biomedical Ultrasound/Bioresponse to Vibration.

This name was rather unwieldy, but stayed intact until 2010 when, hopefully for the last time, the name was changed to Biomedical Acoustics. The members of the TC felt this name was broad enough to encompass the diverse interests of the TC and that it represented a name more in line with the vocabulary typically associated with the field. More details on the history of the TC, along with brief timeline charts, can be found in the BB chapter of the commemorative volume ASA at 75 (Henry E. Bass & William J. Cavanaugh, Editors). Also, a very nice history of medical ultrasound has been put together by Dr. Joseph Woo with a detailed chronology of technology and scientific contributions.

Biomedical Acoustics is one of the smaller TCs in the society, but also one of the more active in terms of special sessions and volunteer effort. The historical ASA membership interest in the TC is shown below in terms of year and the TC interest rank selected by members. It can be seen that the TC has grown quite a bit over the last 25 years and, presently, over 500 members have expressed some level of interest in the TC based on their rank of top three TC interests.

BATC Chairs

John Erdreich 1984 — 1987
Anthony J. Brammer 1987 — 1990
Ronald T. Verrillo 1990 — 1993
Janet M. Weisenberger 1993 — 1996
Ronald A. Roy 1996 — 1999
E. Carr Everbach 1999 — 2002
Robin C. Cleveland 2002 — 2005
Michael R. Bailey 2005 — 2008
Jeffrey A. Ketterling 2008 — 2011
Robert J. McGough 2011 — 2014
Nathan J. McDannold 2014 — 2017
Subha Maruvada 2017 — 2020
Kenneth B. Bader 2020 — Present

BATC Student Council Members

Sandy Poliachik 2000 — 2002
Tyrone Porter 2002 — 2005
Neil Owen 2005 — 2006
Michael Canney 2006 — 2008
Lucie Somaglino 2008 — 2010
Derek Thomas 2010 — 2012
Jason L. Raymond 2012 — 2014
Camilo Perez 2014 — 2015
Vacant 2015 — 2016
Sanjay Yengul 2016 — 2017
Tao Sun 2017 — 2018
Asis Lopez 2018 — 2021
Megan S. Anderson 2021 — Present

BATC Members by the Numbers

Biomedical Acoustics Awards

Although relatively small, members with interests in Biomedical Acoustics (formerly Biomedical Ultrasound/Bioresponse to Vibration) have been well represented with achievement awards from the Society. While there are many other honorees that could be listed, below are awards that were specifically given in recognition of work within this TC.

Details of the awards selection process are available as a PDF.


Gold Medal

The Gold Medal is presented in the Spring to a member of the Society, without age limitation, for contributions to acoustics. The first Gold Medal was presented in 1954, on the occasion of the Society’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Celebration, and biennially until 1980.

  • 1998 – Floyd Dunn – For creative contributions to fundamental knowledge of ultrasonic propagation in, and interactions with, biological media.
  • 2002 – Robert E. Apfel – For fundamental contributions to physical acoustics and biomedical ultrasound and for innovative leadership in electronic publishing.
  • 2013 – Lawrence A. Crum – For discovery and invention in physical and biomedical acoustics, and for leadership in acoustics worldwide.


Silver Medal

The Silver Medal is presented to individuals, without age limitation, for contributions to the advancement of science, engineering, or human welfare through the application of acoustic principles or through research accomplishments in acoustics.

Silver Medal in Bioresponse to Vibration

  • 1989 – Floyd Dunn – For contributions to the understanding of the interactions of ultrasound with biological media.

Silver Medal in Biomedical Ultrasound/Bioresponse to Vibration

  • 1999 – Ronald T. Verrillo – For contributions to the psychophysics and physiology of vibrotactile sensitivity.
  • 2004 – James G. Miller – For contributions to ultrasonic tissue characterization and quantitative echocardiography.

Silver Medal in Biomedical Acoustics

  • 2013 – Kullervo H. Hynynen – For contributions to the science and the clinical applications of therapeutic ultrasound.
  • 2021 – William O’Brien – For contributions to ultrasound bioeffects, dosimetry, and quantitative tissue characterization.


Interdisciplinary Silver Medal

Two or more Technical Committees may nominate candidates whose work overlaps more than one technical area. In 1995 this award was designated the Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary (HRI) Silver Medal.

Silver Medal in Physical Acoustics and Bioresponse to Vibration

  • 1990 – Wesley L. Nyborg – For technical contributions in the application of physical acoustics to biology and medicine.

HRI Silver Medal in Physical Acoustics and Biomedical Ultrasound/Bioresponse to Vibration

  • 2000 – Lawrence A. Crum – For advancing the understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological effects of acoustic cavitation and of high-intensity ultrasound.

HRI Silver Medal in Biomedical Ultrasound/Bioresponse to Vibration/Acoustical Oceanography

  • 2006 – Mathias Fink – For contributions to the understanding of time reversal acoustics.

HRI Silver Medal in Biomedical Ultrasound/Bioresponse to Vibration/Physical Acoustics

  • 2007 – Edwin L. Carstensen – For contributions to the physics of biomedical ultrasound.
  • 2010 – Ronald A. Roy – For contributions to the fields of biomedical ultrasound and nonlinear bubble dynamics.

HRI Silver Medal in Biomedical Acoustics, Physcial Acoustics, and Acoustical Oceanography

  • 2013 – Timothy J. Leighton – For contributions to physical acoustics, biomedical ultrasound, sonochemistry, and acoustical oceanography.


R. Bruce Lindsay Award

The R. Bruce Lindsay Award, formerly called the Biennial Award, is presented in the Spring to a member of the Society who is under 35 years of age on 1 January of the year of the Award and who, during a period of two or more years immediately preceding the award, has been active in the affairs of the Society and has contributed substantially, through published papers, to the advancement of theoretical or applied acoustics, or both.

  • 2000 – Robin O. Cleveland – For contributions to nonlinear acoustics, particularly to shock wave lithotripsy.
  • 2004 – Michael R. Bailey – For contributions to the understanding of shock wave lithotripsy and nonlinear acoustics.
  • 2008 – Tyrone M. Porter – For contributions to ultrasound-guided drug delivery.
  • 2012 – Constantin C. Coussios – For contributions to biomedical ultrasonics.
  • 2013 – Eleanor P. J. Stride – For contributions to biomedical application of bubbles.
  • 2015 – Matthew W. Urban – For contributions to the development of diagnostic methods to image soft tissue.
  • 2019 – Adam Maxwell – For contributions to the understanding and application of therapeutic ultrasound.
  • 2022 – Meaghan O’Reilly – For contributions to biomedical ultrasound applications in the central nervous system


Frederick V. Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

The F. V. Hunt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship was established by the Society to carry out Professor Hunt’s wish that his estate be used to further the science of, and education in acoustics. Fellows receive a stipend, provided jointly by the Hunt estate and a fund established by the Acoustical Society, to support their research on a topic in acoustics at an institution of their choice. One Fellowship is usually awarded each year. Hunt Fellows that have been active within the Biomedical Acoustics Technical Committee include:

  • 1983 – Mark Hamilton
  • 1989 – Carr Everbach
  • 1994 – T. Douglas Mast
  • 1995 – Robin Cleveland
  • 2002 – Constantin C. Coussios
  • 2003 – Tyrone M. Porter
  • 2014 – Jason L. Raymond
  • 2014 – Himanshu Shekhar